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10 Signs It’s Time To Take a Vacation

Debating over taking a vacation this summer? Whether it’s for your health, your relationships or simply your sanity, there are hundreds of reasons to take a vacation. These are the signs it’s long overdue.

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Time For a Little R&R

Time For a Little R&R

Sometimes the writing really is on the wall: you need to escape! Consider it part of your health and wellness plan, says Esther Kane, a clinical counsellor based in Courtenay, B.C.

“So many of us are overworked, overtired, and overstressed by all of our life obligations. A vacation can be a time to rest, relax, meditate, play, and recharge our physical and emotional batteries,” she says.

Wondering if you’re overdue? Here are 10 signs it’s time to rest, recharge and revive yourself with a much-needed getaway, along with our suggestions of where to go.

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1. Working Overtime Is Your Life

1. Working Overtime Is Your Life

All work and no play is the surest route to burnout. If long hours are part of your job and you’re not willing to find different work, book off some vacation days.

“Vacations give us something to look forward to when the daily drudgeries of life are weighing us down,” says Kane. Keeping your eye on the prize provides you with “a pleasant thing to focus on and feel positive about,” says Kane.

Vacation RX:

• REST up at a destination spa.

• RECHARGE your batteries on an endorphin-filled whitewater rafting, surfing or skiing vacation.

• REVIVE your creativity at an arts retreat.

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2. You're Nursing a Broken Heart

2. You’re Nursing a Broken Heart

Only time can mend a broken heart, but spending time with your best buds may speed things along. Plan a girlfriends’ getaway or guys’ weekend, stat!

Vacation RX:

• REST by the pool at a hot see-and-be-seen LA boutique hotel.

• RECHARGE on a power-shopping trip or casino weekend. 

• REVIVE your mojo at a non-stop party hotspot.

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3. You're In a Health-Rut

3. You’re In a Health-Rut

While it’s possible to kick bad habits like smoking, over-eating or over-drinking at home, a trip abroad may make it a bit easier, says Kane. “On a vacation with healthy lifestyle habits at the centre, you’re literally forced to focus on self-care and self-improvement in a way which would prove impossible at home,” she explains.

That said, be prepared to maintain these new habits back home.

“It’s not enough to take care of your health on the rare occasion you can go on vacation: use vacations to kick-start a healthier lifestyle which is sustainable on a daily basis when you get back home,” says Kane.

Vacation RX:

• REST a harried mind at a yoga retreat.

• RECHARGE energy levels by the sea.

• REVIVE yourself with an Outward Bound challenge.

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4. You'd Give Anything For A Moment of Silence

4. You’d Give Anything For A Moment of Silence

Chase what’s golden on a solo getaway – minus your Crackberry or laptop.

Vacation RX:

• REST your mind on a silent retreat

• RECHARGE your soul hiking a provincial or national park.

• REVIVE your other senses in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language.

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5. You've Been on Auto-Pilot for Years

5. You’ve Been on Auto-Pilot for Years

Same-old, same-old has a way of making us feel…old. But it’s never too late to build the life you really want to live. Start with a vacation.

“Getting away gives you the wonderful gift of perspective, and the ability to see the bigger picture, allowing you to reassess your life and see what changes you’d like to make in order to be happier,” says Kane.

Vacation RX:

• REST a busy mind by doing something that requires 100% concentration, like learning stand-up paddle-boarding, or scuba diving.

• RECHARGE by living in the moment, for five days in a tropical paradise. The sixth and seventh days, brainstorm about how you want to spend the rest of your life.

• REVIVE your individuality by trying something out-there like a Hawaii Shark Encounter or running a zombie trail race.

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6. Your Kids Think a “Vacation” Is a Trip To the Mall

Break sedentary habits and short attention spans with a full-throttle, high-energy trip they’ll be talking about for years afterwards.

Vacation RX:

• REST with a good book, while your kids tire themselves out in the Waterpark Capital of the World.

• RECHARGE childhood curiosity on a rainforest night hike.

• REVIVE or start, a family tradition, on a quiet cottage retreat.

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7. It's Been 10 Years Since You've Been Home

7. It’s Been 10 Years Since You’ve Been Home

Go back and see what’s new…and what hasn’t changed a bit!

Vacation RX:

• REST your head in your childhood home (or a nearby hotel).

• RECHARGE your community: make a donation to a local library or school.

• REVIVE old friendships by catching up with childhood friends.

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8. Your Skin Tone Never Changes

8. Your Skin Tone Never Changes

Even with SPF, vacationers pick up colour. If it’s been years since anyone said, “Great tan!” consider yourself overdue for a getaway – SPF and sun-hat in tow, of course!

Vacation RX:

• REST on a lounger with a good gossip rag.

• RECHARGE after siesta, with a late-afternoon snorkeling session.

• REVIVE a tired complexion by going for the (healthy) glow at a healing detox retreat..

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9. You've Made No Time for Quality-Time

9. You’ve Made No Time for Quality-Time

“Many couples are so busy getting the job of living done – work, running a household, childcare, etc – that the health of the relationship often gets neglected. Every couple, whether parenting or not, needs ‘couple time.’ In this age of endless work and task-minding, couples need to consciously carve this out, on a regular and consistent basis,” says Kane.

Vacation RX:

• REST at golf-spa resort.

• RECHARGE on a winter storm-watching escape.

• REVIVE the flame at a hedonistic luxury resort.

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10. You've Got No Skills Left To Improve

10. You’ve Got No Skills Left To Improve

Challenging ourselves to tackle new tasks keeps our bodies and minds agile. If you’re an expert at everything and a newbie at nothing, it’s time to move outside your comfort zone. Travel is renowned for providing that opportunity for growth.

Vacation RX:

• REST your body while challenging your brain, by learning a new language abroad.

• RECHARGE your physique with a full-immersion training retreat: surf camp, yoga retreat, or muy Thai, for example.

• REVIVE yourself and others with a healing art: take on massage-therapy, or a cooking course, for example.